For the editor:
The Hoosiers have had a 20-20 glimpse of what real grit looks like over the past few weeks. Whether it’s watching an 83-year-old man enlist to fight Putin’s army, seeing sixty-year-old women preparing Molotov cocktails in a dark basement, or young mothers saying goodbye in tears to their husband at a train station.
We also got a 20-20 glimpse of what courage doesn’t look like here in Indiana. That doesn’t sound like many of our Republican lawmakers. These folks listened politely and nodded as parents across the state told them what was happening in their children’s schools. Parents provided evidence, not hearsay, that the principles of Critical Race Theory (CRT) were being taught, and assignments were made with the intention of giving the impression that all officers of the law enforcement are racist. Parents testified that schools ignored their written guidelines not to give surveys associated with social-emotional learning (SEL) to their children at school. These surveys are tied to individual students and are stored digitally with little or no privacy protection. The parents provided evidence of the pornographic “literature” which is present in many school libraries and which young children can consult. They also provided examples of the not particularly subtle message underlying these activities to promote “right thinking”. This message is that school employees are the adults children should trust, not their parents.
Republican lawmakers listened, registered shock, asked a few questions and pledged their support. Cue the teachers unions. Education nonprofits and other businesses, guzzling money from billionaires who want to fundamentally reshape, if not eliminate, public education have stepped up. They flooded social media with lies about the course correction bill the parents had asked for, House Bill 1134. The wealthy opposition was smart. Their media consultants had coached them well on the exact emotional buttons to press to get the teachers, many of whom have never read the bill themselves, to show up and show themselves. It worked. Our Republican lawmakers, who privately had been appalled by the evidence of incursions of extreme ideologies into our public schools through teachers, texts, and our own Department of Education, hid and fled. I wonder how many of our legislators have even read HB 1134 themselves. Without knowing what the bill really said, they were left behind by the propaganda campaign born in the boardrooms of corporations and public education nonprofits and beautifully executed by the public school teachers. As they had planned.
The money has spoken. The loudest voices upset Republican lawmakers, even though those loud voices very intentionally misrepresented the contents of the bill. It’s time for those Republican lawmakers, whose heads can be turned so easily by professionally produced propaganda, to be replaced by people who have a true north. People like Brittany Carroll, who runs in District 60. Brittany is smart. She is a good listener. She works hard. His word is worth it. She is more than capable of gathering information from many sources, reviewing it, assessing the motivations of all parties promoting the legislation, and then relying on her core principles to guide her decisions. This last quality is one that is lacking in our current Republican legislators. We need someone with Brittany’s integrity, work ethic, and principled approach to everything she does in the Indiana Legislature. It would be a refreshing change.